Charlie’s Room: A Bug on the Wall

“Dad!” Charlie yelled.

Isaac sat up in bed, jolted out of a dream where he had been shopping for green socks to match his favorite necktie. “Charlie?” he said. “I’m coming.”

He stumbled out of bed and stubbed his toe on the stack of books by his nightstand. The top book fell off the stack and hit him in the ankle. He could barely feel it as he hurried out his door and down the hall to check on Charlie.

“Dad!” Charlie yelled again.

Isaac hurried into the room. Charlie was sitting up on his bed. He looked frightened. “What’s wrong?” Isaac asked.

“There’s a bug on the wall,” Charlie said.

Isaac turned on the light. “Where is it?”

Charlie pointed to the wall above his dresser. “Over there,” he said. “It’s giant. As big as my head.”

Isaac walked over and leaned in to look closely at the wall. He couldn’t find any bugs. Not even tiny bugs. He looked up. There was a spider web up in the corner. Perhaps the spider had somehow caught Charlie’s attention and scared him.

“I’ll take care of it,” Isaac said.

The last time Isaac had tried to move a spider, it had been a little stronger than expected. So, this time, Isaac found one of the metal measuring cups. He cut a large square out of the side of a cereal box. Then he put on his thick gardening gloves.

Charlie was still sitting up in bed when Isaac returned. “That took a long time,” Charlie said.

“I had to find everything I needed,” Isaac said. He moved Charlie’s desk chair over to the corner and used it to climb on the dresser. It swayed for a moment, and then steadied. Isaac let out a breath. “Charlie, can you hand me the stuff I left on your desk?” he asked.

“Okay,” Charlie said. He climbed down from his bed and handed Isaac the gloves first.

Isaac put them on and then took the measuring cup and piece of cardboard.   He took a deep breath, then slammed the measuring cup over the little spider and slid the cardboard under it.   He carefully lifted them together and looked in the corner. No spider.

He looked down at the measuring cup and cardboard spider cage. How was he going to climb down? “Charlie, can you help hold the dresser steady?” he asked.   Charlie held onto the edge of the dresser. Isaac sat down and slid off the dresser onto the chair. The dresser wobbled, but he managed to step onto the chair and then hop onto the floor.   “I’ll need you to open the front door,” he said.

“Okay.” Charlie followed him and opened the front door. “I don’t know how the giant bug fit in there,” he said. “Will it pop out when you lift up the measuring cup?”

Isaac hadn’t thought of that. He set the measuring cup on the front step and lifted it quickly. The spider wasn’t on the cardboard on the step. It was crawling up the side of the measuring cup in his hand. Isaac set it down quickly. “We’ll just leave that there for now,” he said. “Let’s go inside.”

Charlie looked down at the spider. “That’s pretty small. I don’t think it’s the same bug.”

“It was the only bug on the wall,” Isaac said.

“Okay,” Charlie said, but he looked doubtful.

Isaac tucked Charlie back in bed and turned out the light. Charlie sat up in bed with a gasp. “Dad, it’s back!” he said.

Isaac looked up at the wall. A giant bug was running around in circles. It looked more like a large shadow than a bug. He walked over to the wall and cautiously reached out his hand.   His hand went right through the bug.

“It’s a ghost bug!” Charlie said. “We need to get out of here.”

Isaac looked back at the nightlight. “I don’t think it’s a ghost bug.” He turned on the light. The bug on the wall disappeared. He turned off the light. It was back.

“It is a ghost,” Charlie said.

“I think there’s a bug on your nightlight,” Isaac said. He turned the light back on.

Charlie leaned over to look. “There is one,” he said. “How did you know? It’s really little.” He brushed it off the nightlight.

Isaac turned the lights off. The bug on the wall was gone. “I think you solved your bug problem,” he said.

“Thanks, Dad,” Charlie said.

“No problem,” Isaac said. “Sweet dreams.”

Isaac tucked Charlie in again. He put away the chair and gloves. He’d get the measuring cup in the morning.